Last weekend I attended a classic car and motorcycle show and auction in aid of The Rowans Hospice.
The event had been organised by Mark Battye, his daughter Phoebe and son Oron at their family-run business, Trojan Cars, in Francis Avenue.
I was glad I’d left my chequebook at home, especially after admiring a recently restored 1970 Series-2 Jaguar E-Type and 1965 Bentley Continental
My wife often jokes that I buy some crazy things, and regular viewers of Put Your Money will probably share that view.
Mark’s eclectic taste and collecting habits are well known, as he has shown when purchasing items on the same show, including a tree-trunk carved with chimp’s heads.
He is most at home, however, with classic cars and motorcycles and he regularly undertakes complete nut and bolt restorations to some rather iconic machines.
The weather forecast was good so I thought it a fitting opportunity to ride my 1968 Lambretta posting a request for fellow riders on social media.
The Phoenix Scooter Club, who meet at the Phoenix Pub, came to my aid and invited me to join them in convoy and make a grand entrance to the event.
A drive-thru photo-booth had been set up by local photographer Diana Goss, who used a bright red 1963 Mercury SS-55 Monterrey convertible parked in front of a mural painted by local graffiti artist Los Dave as the backdrop.
Inside the showroom, amid Mark’s collection of old petrol pumps, advertising signs and bric-a-brac, was his ex-Brading Museum waxwork that made plenty of visitors jump as they entered.
There were some vintage cars, scooters and motorcycles on display, some of which were for sale. I was glad I’d left my chequebook at home, especially after admiring a recently restored 1970 Series-2 Jaguar E-Type and 1965 Bentley Continental.
More within my price range was a Lambretta series 3 Golden Special, restored in stunning metallic gold.
Also attending the event was the Lord Mayor of Portsmouth and fellow vintage motorcycle enthusiast Cllr Frank Jonas, who I first met when I visited the hardware shop he once owned to purchase a nut and washer for my scooter.
While riding through North End I noticed one of my front suspension shocks hanging loose and pulled over for emergency repairs. Frank came to my rescue, helped me fix it, then, as a fellow vintage rider, refused any payment for the parts.
More than £1,000 was raised for the charity and it seems the first Trojan Classic Car and Motorcycle Day was well received. There is already talk of it becoming an annual event with a possible move to a larger location.